Businessman Richard Ngatia pledges to boost city traders

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) president Richard Ngatia addressing city traders, January 2022. [Courtesy]

Small-scale traders in Nairobi have lamented the poor state of markets, poor sanitation and over-taxation by the county government.

The traders decried the frequent harassment by city inspectorate officers, saying doing business in Nairobi is not conducive.

They spoke when they met the president of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Richard Ngatia.

"The conditions of toilets in our markets is wanting and the drainage systems have been neglected for years by successive governments. Who will come to our aid?," posed Felix Ouma, one of the traders.

Mr Ngatia is one of the aspirants eyeing the Nairobi governorship seat.

Addressing the traders, Ngatia promised that if he is elected governor, he will ensure more markets are put up in city estates to decongest others and discourage the influx of traders from estates to the city centre.  

“You do not have to come all the way from Eastlands to sell your wares in the CBD. With the cooperation of MCAs, we can set aside funds to ensure there are modern markets in our estates,’’ said Ngatia.

There have been long-running battles between hawkers and county askaris in the CBD which have in some instances resulted in deaths and injuries.

He faulted county askaris for harassing hawkers, saying there should be a more humane manner to enforce laws in the city.

"We will liaise with the National Police Service to train city inspectorate officers to enable them to acquire better skills in handling members of the public,’’ he said.

Ngatia told the traders to ensure they are registered as voters if they want to be part of the change they desire.

Other aspirants on the race for the county’s top job are Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, Makadara MP George Aladwa, former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru and Businesswoman Agnes Kagure.

Current governor Anne Kananu has indicated that she will defend the seat in the August polls.

The fallout of former governor Mike Sonko and the Jubilee administrations saw the creation of Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) that took over the running of most county functions.